Sugar Digest 2014-02-09

Sugar Digest

The task from K-12 is building a thirst for knowledge, pleasure in speaking up, and curiosity, curiosity, curiosity—persistently pursued. We need habits of the mind that carry over to the many hours we are not in school and the years and years that follow. –Deborah Meier

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It has been awhile. Google Code In pretty much consumed me from mid-November to mid-January. From there I was spirited away to Sydney, where I am working with Paul Cotton on a new Sugar activity that the OLPC AU deployment plans to use for introducing Sugar to classroom teachers. And more recently, I just finished up the Sugar Labs application to Google Summer of Code 2014.

1. Regarding GCI, I am please to announce that Ignacio Rodríguez and Jorge Gómez were our two grand-prize winners. They will travel to Google in early April. Gonzalo Odiard will join them as the Sugar Labs representative. Our other finalists were Sai Vineet, Emil Dudev, and Sam Parkinson. An amazing group of young developers. Between them they made contributions to Sugar core, numerous Sugar activities, and enhanced our documentation. Ignacio wrote two new web services — [https://github.com/ignaciouy/upload-webservice PutLocker] and [https://github.com/ignaciouy/sugar-gdrive GDrive] — and four new Sugar activities during the contest. Jorge made numerous enhancements to Turtle Art and has written a first pass of Turtle Art in JavaScript. Sai Vineet added pen and rope objects to the Physics activity, developed unit tests for Sugar activities, and made numerous enhancements to Pippy. Emil Dudev converted Sugar core to use gsettings and added a microphone volume control widget to the Frame. Sam wrote an icon viewer to the Sugar Journal, made an amazing how-to video for view source, and enabled recording to external devices in the Record activity. All five have been very active since the end of the contest, continuing to make significant contributions. For example, Sam just revamped the Sugar notification service. I cannot sufficiently express the degree to which their contributions enhance our project: not just the code, which is of high quality, but the fact that Sugar, to a greater and greater extent, is being shaped by its end-user community. Kids from Australia to Zimbabwe taking responsibility for their tools of learning and expression. Wow. It works!

Ignacio and Gonzalo have assembled a page in the wiki to summarize the various contributions by the GCI participants [http://wikisugarlabs.org/go/Google_Code_In_2013/Final_Work].

2. I am please to announce that José Miguel García has joined the Sugar Labs oversight board (AKA SLOB). José Miguel brings his years of experience in pedagogical research and practice to our discussions and he brings additional perspective from the South, where we have so many Sugar learners. SLOB members have been meeting regularly on the first Monday of each month at 9AM EST (14 UTC). Meeting notes can be found in the wiki [http://wikisugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/Minutes#Meetings].

3. I submitted an application on behalf of Sugar Labs to [http://wikisugarlabs.org/go/Summer_of_Code/2014|GSoC 2014]. I’ve also begun assembling a page of project ideas. Please feel free to contribute additional idea. We are soliciting additional mentors, but please note that we are vetting our mentors quite rigorously this year to ensure that their commitment to the students is adequate to ensure a successful outcome. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

4. Manuel Quiñones and Gonzalo are organizing a [https://gist.github.com/manuq/fbc0126fbacd4c3e313e design contest] for Sugar background images. More details to be announced soon.

In the community

5. [http://fr.amiando.com/sugarcamp3.html Sugar Camp #3 – Paris], hosted by Bastien Guerry, will be held from 12-13 April in Carrefour Numérique – Cité des Sciences.

Tech Talk

6. Lionel Laské has been making great strides on [http://sugarizer.org/ “Sugarizer”], a version of Sugar that runs in a web browser.

7. Lots of cool new features in the [http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4193 Physics activity] (including collaboration) and [http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/addon/4041 Pippy].

8. Feedback regarding the beta version of the aforementioned [https://github.com/walterbender/training “teacher training” activity] would be greatly appreciated.

9. I am on a mission to make as much of Sugar as possible available to “user space”. Part of that effort was realized by making Sugar extensions available from ~/.sugar/default/extensions. More recently, I have been working on a new web service (with help from Martin Abente) that exposes many basic [https://github.com/walterbender/sugarservices Sugar services] to user space, e.g. sugar shell and journal. Again, feedback most welcome.

Sugar Labs

10. Please visit our [http://planet.sugarlabs.org planet].

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